Ikigai: A Reason for Being ... and Secret to Living to 100 Years of Age?


Image: Toronto Star

What is the reason that you get up in the morning?

That question may be the answer to the age old quest of living longer, according to this interesting article by Neil Pasricha (previously on Neatorama) in the Toronto Star:

A National Geographic study shows that some of the happiest and longest living people in the world are from Okinawa, Japan. Their average lifespan is seven years longer than ours in North America. They have more 100-year-olds than anywhere else in the world. And you know what they call retirement?

They don’t.

They don’t even have a word for retirement. Literally nothing in their language describes the concept of stopping work completely.

Instead, they have a word called ikigai (pronounced like “icky guy”), which roughly translates to “the reason you get out of bed in the morning.” It’s the thing that drives you the most.

Dan Buettner touched on this in his 2009 TED talk about people who live to be 100 year old or even older:

"They have vocabulary for sense of purporse, ikigai ... You know the two most dangerous years in your life are the year you're born, because of infant mortality, and the year you retire. These people know their sense of purpose, and they activate in their life, that's worth about seven years of extra life expectancy."

So, Neatoramanauts, what is your ikigai?

(Via Rusty's Electric Dreams)


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